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updated: 1/29/2013 3:57 PM

Bouquet from proud Elgin resident

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Bouquet from proud Elgin resident

I thank the city of Elgin for its long-range efforts to manage this city. After surveying many suburbs for over two years, I decided to make Elgin my retirement home. In the six years I have lived here, I have increasingly celebrated that decision.

First of all, City Hall has proved itself to be accessible, with a small town "feel" to the interactions I have had with zoning, community development, legal department and mayor's office.

Second, Elgin has reinvested in its citizens. The community development grants for residential rehabilitation has been a boon to homeowners. Thank you for: neighborhood parks and policing; the new skateboard and dog parks; investment in frequent festivals that bring people downtown; caring about housing in need of repair; extensive walking paths and your plans for biking trails and much more.

Third, Elgin has garnered the power of the arts, offering the new, attractive ArtSpace housing for creative entrepreneurs in the arts, again enriching downtown.

Fourth and more importantly, Elgin has operated in a fiscally responsible manner, with only $15,000 being spent yearly for the mayoral position. In addition, monies from the Grand Victoria Casino have always been used for items such as road and housing improvements -- not salaries and daily operating expenses.

Fifth, our new Mayor Dave Kaptain is proving his own stewardship by his weekly mayoral walks in various communities and his careful acquisition of business growth that will help sustain Elgin.

Finally, Elgin is receiving national recognition, such as the cover of This Old House magazine and a feature last year in Better Homes and Gardens displaying the prairie landscaping in front of one of the historic homes in my neighborhood. PBS has featured Elgin as part of its series in the re-greening of America.

A huge bouquet of gratitude from this proud Elgin resident.

Margaret Watts


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